To Pop or Not To Pop. That is the question!

How to Open Champagne
By Paul Kalemkiarian December 1983

Champagne should be served at a tem­perature of about 45° F. which can be achieved best by gradually chilling overnight in the re­frigerator. How­ever if time is a fac­tor, a minimum of three hours in the refrigerator or thirty minutes in the freezer immediate­ly before serving should suffice. Ap­proximately one hour in an ice buck­et also will provide the correct temper­ature.

c1 There is no need to struggle to remove the foil over the cork which easily is done by tearing along the perforation immediately under the wire hood. For safety, always be sure to point the bottle away from any persons nearby.
c2 To remove the wire hood, grasp the wire loop and bend it to and fro until the wire snaps at the base.
c3 Now you are ready to remove the cork, and here are two tips: First wrap the bottle in a towel and then hold the bottle with one hand, grasp the cork firmly with the other hand, and slowly twist to “break” the seal. Occasionally a stubborn cork might be encountered and movement is not possible. In this case simply place the bottle under cool tap water for about twenty seconds, then repeat the twisting method described.
c4 With the seal broken, the cork can be easily removed and you now are ready for the big moment. Place the bottle on a table at a 45° angle. With one hand, hold the bottle firmly, and with the other hand turn the cork slowly with a slight upward pull until it is nearly out of the bottle neck. Then, using a slight downward pressure for control, “roll” the cork completely out. This technique will soften the traditional “pop,” but since the pressure in the bottle is released gradually with a hissing noise, you will find that the bubbles in your glass will be longer lasting. By the way, to avoid excessive foam when pouring, hold both the bottle and the glass at an angle of about 45 degrees.
c5 One final tip: if your friend, the 300-pound wrestler, takes on the job of opening the Cham­pagne, there is the possibility that the cork might break. If so, all is not lost. The cork still can be drawn out using an ordinary corkscrew carefully centered. For safety, be sure to wrap the bottle neck with a towel.
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